This week the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee will hear testimony on HB 1937, one of two bills submitted by Representative David Simpson (R-Longview) to curb unconstitutional searches, violations of privacy and health threats posed by heightened security measures instituted by the Transportation Security Administration.
HB1937 focuses specifically on “enhanced” searches conducted by the TSA, making inappropriate genital and other intimate contact in the course of such a search a state felony in Texas.
HB 1938 prohibits the deployment of dangerous, high-power body imaging machines at airports in Texas.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas supports Rep. Simpson’s efforts to hold the TSA accountable for these abuses of the rights and dignity of our citizens. If the federal government will not obey the limits which the Constitution puts on its powers then it is entirely appropriate for courageous state legislators like Rep. Simpson to take the lead and challenge this abuse of power on the state level.
“Traveling is not a criminal act. Treating travelers as criminal suspects and forcing innocent citizens to submit to humiliating and unreasonable searches without probable cause as a condition of travel violates protections our forefathers envisioned in Section 9 of the Texas Bill of Rights and the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution,” Rep. Simpson stated. “Contrary to what some TSA agents have claimed, we do not believe that you give up your rights when you travel in public.”
Rep. Simpson was endorsed by the Texas RLC when he ran for office last year and his bills are co-sponsored by 20 other legislators, including RLC endorsees Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs), Jodie Laubenberg (R-Rockwall) and Debbie Riddle (R-Houston).
Bills opposing TSA scanners and pat-downs have already passed in Utah and Alaska and are being submitted in Florida, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and other states.
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas has joined a coalition supporting the efforts of Rep. Simpson in opposing the abuses of the TSA. We urge you to join other pro-liberty Texans and contact your State Representatives on Monday to tell them to support the passage of HB 1937 and HB 1938. Further information and a convenient form for emailing your legislator can be found at www.stopaustinscanners.org.
There comes a point where government demands too much of our liberty for the security it promises to provide and the TSA has more than passed that point. Their policies are out of proportion to any real threat posed by terrorism and contrary to the values which define America and Texas. Please help send them a message they cannot ignore.
Learn more about the Texas RLC at www.rlctx.org.